Browse Definitions:
Definition

longitudinal study

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A longitudinal study is an observational research method in which data is gathered for the same subjects repeatedly over a period of time. Longitudinal research projects can extend over years or even decades.

In a longitudinal cohort study, the same individuals are observed over the study period. Cohort studies are common in medicine, psychology and sociology, where they allow researchers to study changes over time.

Here are some examples of longitudinal studies:

The Framingham Heart Study, which began in 1948 with 5,209 adult subjects from Framingham, Massachusetts, is the source of a great deal of current knowledge about heart disease. The study has yielded most of what is known about the effects of diet, exercise, and common medications such as aspirin on heart disease. The Framington Heart Study is now following the third generation of participants.

In 1971, the British Office of Population Censuses and Surveys began to follow a 1% sample of the British population. The study has correlated various outcomes, such as mortality and incidence of cancer, with variables such as employment status and housing.

The Terman Study of the Gifted, formerly known as the Genetic Studies of Genius, is the oldest and longest-running longitudinal study in the world. Lewis Terman began the study in 1921, at Stanford University, to observer the development and characteristics of gifted children over the lifespan. His initial purpose was to disprove the then-prevalent belief that gifted children were delicate physically and inclined to be socially inept. Terman's initial findings were that, other than intelligence and a tendency to be myopic, gifted children were not significantly different from their less-gifted peers.

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) was designed to follow approximately 50,000 men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 for at least 20 years. CLSA researchers gather information on biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle and economic factors. The purpose is to gain knowledge about the effect of those factors, both separately and in combination, on the development of disease and disability as people age.

This was last updated in February 2013

Continue Reading About longitudinal study

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close